Not a cloud in the sky.

Certainly an anamoly for this football season.

Saturday was a good day for a carnival.

And it happened right before University of Central Arkansas’ game against Lamar.

It was family day and UCA officials created the appropriate atmosphere and reveled in the weather.

Outside Estes Stadium, carnival booths were set up featuring sno-cones, popcorn, nachos and cotton candy.

A band played on the practice field.

Youngsters could create ballon figures. College students could play the usual carnival games involving darts and basketball shooting.

One contraption turned brave (and limber) people upside down.

Also, there was the obligatory climbing wall, plus all kinds of bouncy castles.

Thirty minutes before gametime, more people were outside the stadium than in it.

Too much fun and activity.

There was the usual tailgating with the traditional UCA Alumni Association and Helton-Osbourne tailgates with the usual tasty treats. The UCA Alumni Association featured Outback Steakhouse.

Aesthetics aside, Saturday was the first brilliant, wonderful, "as it should be" day for tailgating and football.

As the trees reflected fall vegetation, this was as invigorating as the first pleasant day of spring.

Beyond the sights and sounds, UCA officials used the game for a higher principle.

The males didn’t have to wear camo. And the women got to show off their new boots.

During the game, each of the school’s women’s athletic teams were recognized as part of the 30th anniversary of Title IX, legislation that changed sports (and society in general) forever.

While the guys played a game steeped in tradition, the women celebrated opportunity.

As twilight approached, it was still a sunny day.

Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or